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History: Preserving the Past

Marshallton’s sense of place is largely derived from the historic structures still standing in the village today. These century-old buildings help us understand and appreciate a critical and formative time in our nation’s history. They illustrate our cultural heritage and connect today’s residents with the past. Preserving the historic structures in Marshallton is essential if we are to maintain that connection to the past for future generations.

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The Village

Located on a ridge in West Bradford Township, between West Chester and Downingtown, surrounded by the east and west branches of the Brandywine and strategically located between Lancaster and Philadelphia, the Village of Marshallton is a charming National Register Historic District that rose from a few farms and families. 


Primarily an agricultural community, Marshallton was established in the 18th century and flourished as a crossroad village due to its proximity to Strasburg Road and nearby waterways. In addition to agriculture, blacksmiths, coopers, shoemakers, and wheelwrights practiced their trades as the village functioned as a rural service center for both travelers and nearby farmers.


Within Chester County, Marshallton is the most cohesive and intact village found today featuring 50 century-old dwellings, two historic inns, a restored blacksmith shop, two places of worship, the former town hall and community school, three cemeteries and a few small stores. Three of these historically significant buildings are listed in the National Register: the Humphry Marshall house, a 1773 stone house in the Georgian vernacular; the Marshalton Inn, a double-door Georgian built in 1814 as a hotel; and the Bradford Friends Meetinghouse, dating from 1765 and representative of the Colonial style as seen in Quaker meetinghouses. These structures help us understand and appreciate a critical and formative time in our nation’s history. They illustrate our cultural heritage and connect today’s residents with the past. 

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See for yourself why Marshallton is the historic jewel of Chester County. Download the free app to your smartphone (available from the Apple App Store for iPhone or Google Play Store for Android or Windows Phone Store). Search under audio guides for "Marshallton Village". There are 34 points of interest in this one-hour tour and you can start the tour at any point.


You may also access the tour online by clicking on the button below. Search for “Marshallton Village” under Audio Guides.

Take a self-guided walking tour of the Village of Marshallton

Marshallton Oral History Project

The Marshallton Conservation Trust, the West Bradford Historical Commission and the Friends of Martin’s Tavern working collaboratively, have completed the Marshallton Oral History Project. The purpose of this effort was to provide and memorialize the personal, firsthand recollections of village life in the mid part of the 20th century by people who are still connected to the village today. 


Oral histories are an important type of historical preservation and provide a rare opportunity to talk about and record history face to face. It is a living history of people’s unique life experiences. 


Step back in time to experience what life was like in Marshallton in the mid-20th century…